SWAT 2011

reflection -

Its been a few weeks since the symposium, the perfect amount of time to determine what stuck. This was my second wood turning symposium I've ever been to, the first was the big national in Chicago(?) back in the summer of 2009. I wasn't expecting as big an event but was pleasantly surprised with what was presented in little 'ole Waco. And let me just say this... the included meals were the best I've ever had at a large event.

Below are the video's I shot and published the day of the event with a brief 'remembrance' of the lectures I visited.

day three-

The final day was really a half day. They had a final meal, again... awesome, and they had a raffle of two large lathes (plus lots of little stuff). I think the big controversy is gonna be that the same guy one both lathes but... I saw the guys face, it was a total surprise. In fact I remember that on the first lathe they almost had to redraw a ticket because he misread his own. Any ways... more tax for him to pay. :)

Nick Cook - Production Turning:

This was one of my top three lectures simply because I actually got to see the speed of a production woodturner. Yes he had some great little tid bits of info but mainly I enjoyed seeing the speed of a seasoned woodturner making small little projects that I could sell at a some of the craft faires I'll be attending. One thing that bugs me is he's a big advocate of small oval skews. Arrrrggghhh... another discerning opinion! I've had such bad luck with oval skews in the past, mainly with how difficult they are to sharpen. I wish now I'd seen how he sharpens it.

Doug Fisher - Surface Texture and Carving:

I was really excited about this particular lecture simply because of the art of his I was in the Instant Gallery. It's kind of modern day interpretation of some Japanese motif. I learned about carbon based india ink and that he uses power tools a lot. I guess I was expecting more carving but I could see how his methods would allow him to mass produce a series of art. I also notice how the haphazardness of his airbrushing actually contributed to the overall effect.

day two-

Curt Theobald - Segmenting - Where to Start: Curt obviously knew his subject and his gallery of work was truly impressive. I could not believe the quality and size of some of the items he passed around. That being said I was a bit dissappointed in this lecture. It was more of a "what inspires me". By the title I was expecting more of a wood selection, and assembling segmentation lecture.

Dave Hout - Basic Bowl Turning:

This was an exceptionally basic beginner course but it was good for me to watch another person explain bowl turnering to the uninitiated since that is the target for the classes that I personally will teach. I would of appreciated if he'd talked a little more about different approaches.

Robert Rosand - Christmas Ornament and Acorn Birdhouse:

Nick Arnull - Turned Bowl Forms with Applied Decorations: This was my favorite of the classes. I appreciated that he actually completed two projects both involving hollowing. I've attempted his Christmas Ornament before with not so great results. Dad has made lots of them with great results but I've never seen him work at speed on them. So this was great. I was also extremely interested in his little birdhouses because I personally like the concept and I could see selling them at craft shows. Now I think they could be cool do demonstrate too! Though I think I'd use a mortiser or drill bit to do the hollowing. I also appreciated that his personality was... a little coarser. He seemed to interact and relate better with his audience. I could see going thru this particular lecture twice in a row just to get the half of the information you missed in this fast pace class.

day one-

Keith Hughes - All About Sharpening:

I have to admit that two weeks later I don't remember too much about this lecture. It might be that I knew a lot of what was discussed or that what was new was more common sense. I do remember that he knew what he was doing, was personable but maybe a bit dry.

Thomas Irvin - Had Chasing Corian Inserts for Boxes:

A truly impressive lecture that has me wanting to chase some threads. I've borrowed a set from Dad but wasn't sure how they worked. Truly glad he actually did the project instead of just talking about it. Plus... corian! He actually turned corian!

Alan Lacer - Befriending the Skew:

As much as I've been concentrating on learning the skew chisel this past year, you'll see a video soon on my learning curve as I turned two dozen screwdriver handles from squares using only the skew, I learned so much here. Especially on speeding up sharpening (I've been hollow grinding them and then using waterstones like a hand chisel). Also after listening to his reasoning for what type of chisel to buy and how to sharpen it his method seemed to make the most sense based upon my experience with various skews. So I think I'll be reshaping mine soon to try his half flat, half curve bevel.

Special Interest Group - Better Demonstrating:

Nick Enroll, Robert Resound, Alan Lacer, and others had a Q&A session that as a person designing a large number of courses truly interested me. I got more out of this than anything else in the symposium. Not necessarily new information but more of a reassurance of what doing is right. Even with all they talked about with dealing with establishments, audiences and such I now feel that my experience teaching is going to take coursework in this industry to the next level. Much of the issues and problems they discussed were those of beginning teachers. Stuff I worked out years ago. (Esh... that sounded braggadocios).

After they did the Q&A they did a critique session of some of the best from the Instant Gallery. I appreciated much of it but a few of the critiques really bugged me. The British gentlemen really seemed to lite into a couple work for borderline copyright infringement kind of stuff. While I agree that stealling an artists work is wrong I don't think him getting onto a person for using a style in a differnt form was right. Artists have always learned by origianlly copying other people styles until they gain enough expertise to diverge into thier own. This really bugged me considering this same persons own work was blatantly modeled after other artists. He had his own work critiqued at the event and I think it was just that the critiquer doesn't know much about the airbrush community to realize his painting was really just a poor copy of a very common technique associated with a few famous airbrushers. I.E. the marble look originally made famous in the eighties by Dupstadt for motorcycle helmets. It just stuck in my craw as a bit hypocritical.

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